Over two months have passed since Devil May Cry V arrived on our shelves in all its glory. After the many theories and speculations the fans came up with for a very long time since the E3 announcement, now we know for sure what turned out to be only a fabrication and what remained faithful to the first impressions we all had. This is my review for the game along with a quick overview related to the fanmade camera tools created by Frans Bouma, HattiWatti and K-putt.
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Devil May Cry V is a direct sequel of Devil May Cry 4 and takes place five years after the events we played in the previous title. Dante and Nero are back as playable characters, both slightly older but cooler than ever. The game also introduced a third playable protagonist called V The Mysterious One, a young man covered in intricated tattoos and followed by two demonic pets; Griffon and Shadow. The fans who played Devil May Cry 1 back in the days immediatly recognized the similarities between these creatures and the enemies from the first game. Griffon is also the most sentient, exchanging active conversations with V and joking around.
Right from the first mission we can see that V isn’t particularly built physically and maintains a low profile in battle while instructing his animal companions. He occasionally delivers direct attacks and final blows, but the way he walks supporting himself with a cane indicates that his conditions are somehow compromised from the very beginning.
DMC5 also switched from the standard Asian character design to a photorealistic look, using real models and actors for the facial features and general details.
Warning: This section may contain spoilers for whoever wants to play the game and didn’t have the chance yet. Read at your own risk!
Devil May Cry V begins with the Japanese prequel and visual novel Before the Nightmare, which explains who Nico (Nicoletta) Goldstein is and how she met Nero in Fortuna City way before DMC5 takes place. Nico is a non-playable supportive character in the game, driving the DMC van and building Nero’s biotic arm known as Devil Breaker.
The girl is in fact Nell Goldstein’s granddaughter, aka the .45 Caliber Artist and creator of Dante’s custom pistols, Ebony & Ivory.
Surprisingly, her father was the One-Eyed Dark Knight Agnus; alchemist, artificial demon and secondary antagonist defeated by Dante in Devil May Cry 4.
A few things we see briefly in cutscenes, such as the garage sequence where the Yamato is taken away, are described more in detail in the novel. Nero falls into a coma after losing his demonic arm and finds none other than V at his bedside a few days later. According to the cryptic stranger, the mysterious figure who ripped his limb off is a terrifying demon known as Urizen, about to resurrect at full power unless they put a stop to his ascension before he can feast on the Qliphoth fruit and become invulnerable.
Feeling guilty for losing Yamato, knowing how much it meant to Dante when the demon hunter entrusted the sword to him five years prior, Nero accepts to follow V into the enemy’s den in order to retrieve the weapon.
This part of the book connects directly to the video game’s prologue, with a one-armed Nero fighting his way to the main level and catching up with V along the way.
The novel is also told from multiple characters’ perspectives (V, Nero, Nico, Dante, Trish, Lady, Morrison and Lucia). You can read an unofficial English translation over here.
The confrontation with Urizen in the prologue is very short-lived and intended to end abruptly in order to follow the course of events and plot sequences, even Dante will be crushed down and presumed dead/missing for an entire month. V’s identity is also revealed piece by piece the more you uncover about his knowledge on the Sparda family, as the remaining strength in his body seems to crumble the stronger Urizen becomes by absorbing human blood.
There seems to be a spiritual connection between him and Nero though, an unspoken trust that never faltered despite how little the boy knows about The Mysterious One.
Even after all their efforts in getting rid of the demons and power sources, Urizen is one step ahead and eventually gets his hands over the Qliphoth fruit (effectively gaining even more power and changing form). Not counting the first battle you have to overcome at the beginning of the game, you will be forced to fight against Urizen at least three more times before the final boss. The demon king will only begin to weaken being knocked on the ground by Dante on the very last atempt, but even that will not be enough to actually finish him off completely.
Although V’s true identity is finally revealed to the players in a previous chapter, Dante and Nero are still oblivious until the man appears in the middle of the confrontation and stabs Urizen in the chest to merge with the humanoid monster into one being again. V is nothing more than Dante’s brother’s human half, separated from his former self the day a corrupted Vergil absorbed the Yamato to become a mere shadow of what he used to be. Without any human sentiment straining him anymore, Urizen could finally embrace the darkness and aspire to become an ultimate God.
Unaware of yet another truth that may change his own existence completely, Nero is still determined to fight blinded by his resentment for the unknown man.
For years the fans have wondered whether or not the DMC4 novels (Deadly Fortune) portrayed the truth about Vergil’s fatherhood, feeling unsure regarding the series’ timeline and Nero’s age in the story since DMC3. Only after the DMC5 E3 reveal Capcom posted an official announcement about this topic, confirming that Nero is indeed Vergil’s son through and through.
Nero refuses to let the twins kill each other after such a shocking revelation, not now that the family he never had is suddenly in front of him at an arm’s reach (no pun intended). His anger and turmoil will unlock his Devil Trigger form, destroying the biotic Breaker in the process and regenerating his missing limb into a human arm (as previously rumored).
The very last part of the game will see the young man challenging his own father in a final fight and the entire clash has a lot of DmC vibes to me. Howbeit, despite Nero’s resentment for what Vergil’s demon half has put them all through, the conflict didn’t really feel like a spiteful battle with a live-or-die objective, which I really liked considering their newly found bond. Vergil’s character went through a visible development thanks to V’s personality and the time spent with his own son throughout the game.
To Dante’s delight and Vergil’s astonishment, Nero’s substantial power allows him to win the match and get in control, asking for a permanent destruction of the Qliphoth tree. The Sparda brothers will form an alliance to reach the Underworld and cut down the demonic roots to prevent more demons from coming out, while Nero will be forced to remain in the human world and clean it out from the evil remnants in the meantime.
The DMC5 ending sequence is pretty much like the one in DMC4, with an additional short gameplay as the credits roll.
I honestly found the ending a bit too rushed. I was hoping for more development on that front, especially considering how long it’s been since DMC4 and Deadly Fortune. Now that Nero has finally found his long lost father, I wish we could have some more in-depth sequence about that. Still, the game is pretty awesome and well worth the wait no doubt.
While in Devil May Cry 4 we had to face the same bosses twice as we switched to Dante, in this new chapter all three protagonists have their own story portion and enemies to beat, plus different fighting styles and sets of weapons/combos. The gameplay kept the original mechanics and overall dark/gothic environments.
The more red orbs you collect the more skills you can unlock in the customization menu, starting a new game will not remove the ones you received previously and it will display Nero’s human arm whenever the Breaker gets destroyed. You will also be able to use Devil Trigger from the very start and all your skills/weapons will be available at all times.
The game can be a bit demanding with high/ultra graphics if played in 4k, but it still runs pretty smoothly even on older machines. Unfortunately, DMC5 may be affected by a freezing issue that hits the entire system forcing you to shut the computer off through the power button and it can happen in a totally random way while playing in different areas or watching cutscenes. Capcom patched the game recently with the Bloody Palace DLC addition, but I cannot say for sure if the issue is permanently resolved although I haven’t really experienced it for a while.
I also modified the configuration file as suggested online. Should you be affected by this RE Engine bug as well, check your dmc5config.ini in the game’s directory and be sure these two lines are set correctly:
It might be a coincidence, but since I edited my configuration file the freezing stopped for the time being.
As much as I appreciate the effort in implementing an official photo mode into the game, its camera has too many boundaries and there’s literally no FOV control nor filter included. The DMC5 logo constantly appears at the bottom of your image too and that was driving me nuts (someone made a mod for it on Nexus at least). Thankfully, three of the most known and talented programmers in the Screenarchery community teamed up to create a camera injector for a better control and cutscene compatibility, allowing you to freeze time everywhere and whenever you like.
In order to use these tools properly you need to own a legit copy of the game, a pirated version will not allow you to activate the free camera since it works with a different coding. That said, if your TargetPlatform setting in the dmc5config.ini is already set to DirectX11, you can use the tools without issues and install a ReShade configuration for professional-looking photos or very artistic pieces of art.
How do the tools work?
- Load the game first, then the tools BOTH with admin rights.
- The injector will automatically detect the game’s exe, a message should appear on the top left corner.
- To stop the time and freeze the game on screen for an easier capturing, press the Numpad 0 key.
- To activate/deactivate the free camera, use the Ins key.
- Del will toggle the HUD on and off.
- Ctrl+Ins will open the console window with additional settings (depending on your keyboard, you may need to press the Ctrl key on the right rather than the common one on the left).
- Press Home to lock/unlock the camera placement, useful if you need to use the console and move the mouse around.
- The arrow keys will rotate the camera up/down and left/right.
- Numpad + and – will increase or decrease the FOV. You can then reset it with Numpad *.
- By opening the console you will notice there is a Resolution Scale slider (we can find that specific option as % in the game’s options too), this is extremely useful if you want to get a better quality and detail in your shots. However, you have to be extremely careful with it because the higher the slider goes, the worst your system will behave. If you don’t have a current-gen GPU with a relatively good amount of VRAM, setting the resolution scale over 3 or 4 could already freeze everything for a while and/or crash the game. I would say 2 is already good enough (if your computer can handle it).
Be sure to check the included Readme file for further instructions.